Journal article

Environmental and Social Change in Northeast Thailand during the Iron Age

CFW Higham, BFJ Manly, R Thosarat, HR Buckley, N Chang, SE Halcrow, S Ward, DJW O'Reilly, LG Shewan, K Domett



The Iron Age of Mainland Southeast Asia began in the fifth century bc and lasted for about a millennium. In coastal regions, the development of trade along the Maritime Silk Road led to the growth of port cities. In the interior, a fall in monsoon rains particularly affected the Mun River valley. This coincided with the construction of moats/reservoirs round Iron Age settlements from which water was channelled into wet rice fields, the production of iron ploughshares and sickles, population growth, burgeoning exchange and increased conflict. We explore the social impact of this agricultural revolution through applying statistical analyses to mortuary samples dating before and after the devel..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We wish to thank the The Fine Arts Department of Thailand and the National Research Council for their support and permission to excavate Non Ban Jak. This research was funded in 2011-14 by the Australian Research Council, in 2014 by Earthwatch and its Research Corps, in 2015 by the University of Otago and in 2016-18 by the Marsden Fund of New Zealand. We thank Jack Wood, Tara Thara, Wilbert Yee, Christina Sewall, Sam Sewall, Helen Bauer, Vickie Jarvis, Roger Prior and Gay Stryker for their consistent support in the field.